Why work in the charity sector?

Lucy Wyndham explores why people choose to work in the voluntary and community sector – and what we can do to be successful as a worker in one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, sectors.

The Secrets of Successful Charity Work

Passion for the cause of the foundation you are working for is key to a flourishing career in the charity work sector. Funds given to charity have risen by 1% in the last decade in the UK (Charities Aid Foundation, 2017). This year, individuals and organisations have contributed a total of £9.7 billion, a figure which is on par with 2015 statistics. The secret behind successful fundraising is people. And motivation is what keeps the money coming in whilst at the same time, creating personal satisfaction for the charity worker.

Charitable Organisations are Rewarding

Whether you are volunteering your time or making a career out of charity work, there is no magic formula that will guarantee your success. Working for the charity sector is not for everyone. It is not the place to go if you want to get rich. But, it offers more when it comes to personal rewards and achievements.

One of the major things that sustains charity work is the passion and dedication of people working in the charity sector. Truly believing in the cause and objectives of the society or organisation matter. If you are convinced of the purpose of your charity, then you are going to work hard to deliver on that promise. The intense desire to help is also a factor that makes charity workers succeed. People volunteer or do other types of online work in between paid positions, such as paid surveys and focus groups.

Ambition Drives Workers to Succeed

While it is true that many choose to work because of a reputation of a charity body that can be considered a brand, ambition is by itself a driving factor. You might want to be part of a pioneering research body or an association that tests innovative technology on the ground.

Flexibility plays an important role as well in a successful charity work career. You must be willing to wear many hats although these hats are also seen as steps towards career progression. Charity or NGO workers can function as fundraisers, marketers, accountants, HR, IT and many more. In short, the scope for several types of work in a given role also make charitableorganisations highly attractive to job-seekers.


Perhaps, the biggest attraction of working for a charity is that you get to see the results of your work whether you are part of a small or a large society. Personal satisfaction is quite high in the charity work sector. Studies show that job satisfaction is a major reason why a worker stays loyal to their organisations.

Pride in your work is also part of your success. It increases motivation levels, driving you to work harder in the role that you have chosen to take up.

Charity work is not only an altruistic act to serve others and be of use to society. It is also part of your career choice. High motivation, flexibility and a real desire to help might just be the magic combination to succeed in the field. And, if more workers are successful, then there is no reason why world suffering cannot be reduced given that there will be enough physical and human resources to go around for noble causes.

Lucy Wyndham spent over a decade in business, including a long stint in HR, before taking a step back to spend more time with her family. She’s spent the last 7 years developing a freelance writing and editing career working with companies all over the world.

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